Cork & Seal v. Credit Suisse First Boston

U.S. DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Business Law

New York Law Journal

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Justice Bernard Graham

Metropolitan Life Insurance and Lloyds TSB Bank asserted claims against Credit Suisse First Boston and Poulsen (presumed insolvent) under 15 §§78j(b) and 78t, Securities Exchange Act provisions. Their suit was among those transferred to district court from New Jersey and Arizona under 28 USC §1404. Bar orders were entered under 15 USC §78u-4(f)(7)(A) after plaintiffs settled with various defendants. Called on to decide issues concerning joint and several liability among defendants, the court found New York law governed aspects of plaintiffs' claims related to joint and several liability and apportionment of fault. The court ruled that if a jury finds that Credit Suisse and Poulsen each committed fraud that caused plaintiffs' losses, then under New York law Credit Suisse was liable—as to MetLife and Lloyds—for 100 percent of Poulsen's share. Discussing New York General Obligation Law §15-108(a), the court determined that New York law provides for apportionment as to settling tortfeasors. Thus, the court rejected Credit Suisse's claim that Poulsen's share of fault should be divided among it and the settling defendants in relation to their proportionate share of fault.

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